By Mackinna Hart When it comes to finding a “real job,” work experience is often more important to employers than academic achievements. Internships are the best way to start building that experience. The people you work with during your internship will become your professional references, so you need to make a good impression. Here are six tips to help you be a superstar intern. 1. No task is too small Everyone has to start somewhere. No matter how basic your tasks may be, you have an opportunity to demonstrate what you’re capable of. If you always do your best, it won’t be long before you are rewarded with increased responsibility. 2. Show up early, leave late Your work as an intern is a reflection of what you would be like as an employee. “If you’re early, you’re on time, if you’re on time, you’re late” is a motto followed by many successful professionals. When you put in the extra time, it shows your level of commitment and responsibility and helps you to stand out among your peers. 3. A good attitude is your most valuable asset In the real world, a good attitude can get you further than just skill and experience. If you’re regarded as friendly and easy to work with, your supervisor and coworkers will be more inclined to offer you more opportunities. Relationships are the key to success. 4. Take initiative The best interns go above and beyond what is expected. This can mean getting work done ahead of schedule, creating a more efficient process that saves time, or anticipating your supervisor’s needs before you are asked. Any way that you can make your supervisor’s life easier will make you more valuable. 5. Ask questions Your supervisor and coworkers know this is your first time on the job, so they don’t expect you to know everything. Asking questions shows them that you’re engaged and eager to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask about their experience and how they got to where they are. Not only will this provide you with insights on how to be successful, but it will help you get to know them and strengthen your relationship. 6. Ask for an evaluation Ask your supervisor for a check-in halfway through or a month into your internship, whichever is sooner. Ask what you are doing right, what you can do better, and any other questions you may have. This will teach you how to be a better intern and demonstrate your desire to do your best. If you are meeting or exceeding expectations, this can also be an opportunity to ask for more responsibility. 7. Ask for references Before you complete your internship, get the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of your supervisor and coworkers. Ask for LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements and for written letters of reference. These can be more valuable than a paycheck. The larger your professional network, the easier it will be to land a job. Now that you know what it takes to be a superstar intern, find the perfect internship with our internship search.